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Big 12 Football: 5 Surprising Standouts of Spring Practice

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

Big 12 Football: 5 Surprising Standouts of Spring Practice

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Spring practice is underway for nine of the 10 teams in the Big 12, and there are guys around the league that have already started emerging as stars of the new season. 

    One of the biggest standouts has been TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin. After rumors of a position change, Boykin has instead become the top candidate for the starting job in Fort Worth. 

    Baylor wideout Corey Coleman has also stood out in the wake of a receiver shortage in Waco. 

    With that, let's check out the top five standouts of spring practice so far. 

Corey Coleman

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    In Baylor's first scrimmage, Coleman proved to be a star wideout while guys like Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood were out. 

    According to Mark Seymour of Our Daily Bears, the SB Nation blog for Baylor, Coleman shined with two touchdown catches and 112 yards receiving with the first team offense. 

    Last season, Coleman was a backup receiver that hauled in 35 catches for 527 yards and two scores. 

    With Baylor's spread offense, having depth and talent at the receiver position is particularly important. So for Coleman to have the type of day he had with Goodley and Norwood is certainly a sign of better things to come for Coleman. 

     

Devon Thomas

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    Photo courtesy of 247sports

    Finding a steady running back at Oklahoma State was a challenge this season. The Cowboys couldn't find a steady replacement for Joseph Randle, who graduated after the 2012 season, and finished 2013 without a 1,000-yard rusher. 

    The team's best option at running back was Desmond Roland, who finished with 811 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

    However, freshman Devon Thomas may be making a bigger splash than anticipated in Stillwater. According to the Oklahoma State athletics website, head coach Mike Gundy said that Thomas was one of the guys that shined in the first day of practice with pads on. 

    Thomas was a 4-star running back, according to 247sports, and the 11th best running back in his class. 

    It may be hard to dethrone Roland as the starting running back, but for Thomas making the impact that he is, will certainly put pressure on the entire backfield to improve from last season. 

Trevone Boykin

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Will he change positions? Will he be the backup quarterback? Will he be the starter yet again? 

    Nobody quite knew what to expect out of Trevone Boykin this spring. But according to Alex Apple of The Dallas Morning News, head coach Gary Patterson has the answer, at least for now. 

    “Trevone Boykin is the number one [quarterback],” Gary Patterson said. “Tyler [Matthews] would be number two.”

    Boykin's numbers weren't great last year, as he threw for just 1,198 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. But he's a good athlete with tremendous upside that is seemingly revealing itself this spring. 

Miles Onyegbule

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    Photo courtesy of 247sports.

    Miles Onyegbule is little-known around the Big 12. Last year as a tight end, he caught just four passes for 51 yards and didn't have a touchdown. 

    But in spring practice in Austin, he's making much bigger waves. According to Taylor Gaspar of Bleacher Report, Onyegbule is taking reps at quarterback, as David Ash and Tyrone Swoopes are the only scholarship guys the Longhorns have at the position.

    Gaspar reported that Charlie Strong has been impressed by Onyegbule's performance under center so far.

    Miles thinks he's a quarterback. Miles has played everything. The thing about him is he's one of those young men who we asked to move to a position and he moved. We're just trying to get some bodies at that position.

    While it's unlikely Onyegbule will see the field at quarterback this fall, it's certainly noteworthy that a tight end is able to find stability at quarterback at a place like Texas. 

Ranthony Texada

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    Photo courtesy of 247sports.

    The open cornerback slot at TCU vacated by Jason Verrett is up for grabs, and there are plenty of contenders for the starting job. 

    But according to Alex Apple of The Dallas Morning News, it appears that Ranthony Texada, who will be a sophomore next season, is the favorite to take over for Verrett. 

    “Ranthony is farther than what we thought he was. He just has to keep competing,” Patterson explained. “I have been very pleased with him.”

    TCU has struggled in the Big 12, but it prided itself on its secondary. So there are big expectations for whoever fills in for Verrett. So that puts a lot of pressure on Texada, who was just a 3-star recruit, according to 247sports

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